Best Flooring for Bathroom: Your Essential Buying Guide

Last updated on June 11, 2024

Find out which bathroom flooring best suits your needs, including options for durability, style, and moisture resistance.

Key takeaways:

  • Porcelain or ceramic tiles: stylish, durable, easy to clean.
  • Vinyl flooring: versatile, affordable, easy installation and maintenance.
  • Natural stone flooring: luxurious, durable, requires regular sealing.
  • Engineered wood flooring: classic look, enhanced moisture resistance.
  • Laminate flooring: budget-friendly, but requires vigilant maintenance.
  • Avoid carpet, solid hardwood, cheap laminate, and cork flooring.
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Porcelain or Ceramic Flooring Tiles

porcelain or ceramic flooring tiles

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the rock stars of bathroom flooring. They’re stylish, durable, and water-resistant—because nobody wants a mini pond in their bathroom.

They come in a dizzying array of colors, patterns, and sizes. Want your bathroom to feel like a spa? Done. Prefer a classic black-and-white theme? No problem.

Installation can be a bit tricky, but once they’re set, they last. Just remember, grout can be a dirt magnet, so get a good sealer. And if you’re worried about icy feet in the morning, consider installing radiant heating beneath. Goodbye, frozen toes!

These tiles are also a breeze to clean. A quick swipe and they’re sparkling. So if you like things stylish, durable, and easy to maintain, you’ve just found your match.

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Vinyl Bathroom Flooring

Vinyl is like the swiss army knife of bathroom flooring. It’s versatile, water-resistant, and affordable. Plus, it comes in an array of designs—from wood-look to stone-look—so you can trick people into thinking your bathroom costs a fortune, without actually spending one.

One point in its favor is installation. You don’t need a degree in flooring to lay it down. There are peel-and-stick options for those who love a good DIY weekend project.

Maintenance? A breeze. Spilled a bottle of shampoo? No problem. Wipe it up, and you’re good to go.

And let’s not forget comfort. Vinyl feels warmer underfoot compared to tile, making those midnight bathroom runs a bit less frigid. All this without mentioning its durability, which can handle everything from splashes to kids to the occasional tap-dance routine.

What’s not to love?

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Natural Stone Bathroom Flooring

For those with a taste for the luxurious, natural stone offers a truly high-end aesthetic. Think marble, granite, and slate. These materials scream sophistication and class. They’re durable, tough, and undeniably gorgeous. But, like the diva of flooring options, they come with a few demands.

First, they can be quite expensive, both to purchase and to install. You might want to start saving those pennies now!

Second, they need regular sealing to keep moisture out. Yes, folks, natural stone is porous.

Third, they’re prone to being slippery when wet. So, unless you enjoy a thrilling slide across the bathroom after a shower, consider textured finishes or strategically placed rugs.

Natural stone floors are environmentally friendly too, which is a nice bonus. They can last a lifetime, and let’s be honest, they might just outlive you. If you’re looking for that timeless, elegant charm and don’t mind a bit of upkeep, natural stone could be your bathroom’s new best friend.

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Engineered Wood Bathroom Flooring

Got a soft spot for the classic look of wood but dread the idea of warping and splintering? Engineered wood might just be your new bathroom best friend.

This flooring type combines a thin hardwood veneer with plywood layers, providing both the aesthetic appeal of real wood and enhanced moisture resistance. While it’s not entirely waterproof, it’s far more resilient than solid wood. Just keep those splashes under control, okay?

Say goodbye to that regular hardwood floor paranoia. Engineered wood’s stability makes it less prone to expanding and contracting with humidity changes. Plus, it can be installed as a floating floor, meaning it’s a breeze to put down—all without the traumatic nail-and-glue experience.

Cleaning’s a cinch, too. A quick sweep and an occasional damp mop are all it needs. And the variety? You’ll find options that mimic just about any species of wood, from oak to walnut, at a fraction of the cost.

So if you’re yearning for that timeless, warm feel of wood without the usual bathroom drama, engineered wood is a great way to go. Just be sure to place that bathmat wisely. Better safe than sorry!

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Laminate Bathroom Flooring

Here’s where things get a bit dicey: laminate in the bathroom. Sure, it gives off that wood-look charm without the heart-stopping price tag, but water is its arch-nemesis. Laminate planks are basically layers of wood composite topped with a high-res image of wood. If water slips through the seams and reaches the core, you’re looking at swelling and bubbling that’s about as appealing as cold oatmeal.

That said, some folks swear by it. Why? It’s budget-friendly, easy to install, and can look pretty snazzy. Modern options even come with water-resistant coatings. But remember, water-resistant is not the same as waterproof.

If you go for laminate, make sure you’re a mop vigilante. Clean up spills immediately, and don’t let that puddle party linger. Choose high-quality laminate designed for high-moisture areas, and always use proper underlayment for extra moisture protection.

In short, laminate can work, but it demands a vigilant eye and some serious maintenance chops. If you’re the cautious type and love the wood aesthetic without the wood price, it might just be your bathroom superhero. Just keep that mop close!

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Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

This is where waterproof vinyl strides in like a bathroom superhero. Tougher than a toddler with a sticky hand, it stands up to water like a champ.

First off, it’s completely waterproof. That means you can splash away without worrying about damage. Plus, it’s known for its durability. Kids, pets, unexpected bathroom dance parties—waterproof vinyl can handle it all.

Installation is a breeze, too. Even if you’re not particularly handy, click-lock planks make the process as easy as pie. And let’s not forget the design possibilities. From wood-look to sleek tiles, there’s something for every taste.

Maintenance? Forget about it. Just a swift mop and you’re good to go. No special treatments or fussy cleaning routines necessary.

To sum it up, if you want your bathroom floor to look snazzy, stand up to water, and be easy to install, waterproof vinyl might just be the knight in shining armor you’ve been looking for.

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Flooring to Avoid in the Bathroom

Let’s talk about what you should absolutely avoid when it comes to bathroom flooring. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself later.

Carpet. Sure, it feels cozy under the feet, but it’s practically a sponge for moisture and mold. Yuck! Imagine soggy, mildewed carpet—it’s a nightmare.

Solid hardwood. Yes, it’s beautiful and elegant, but bathrooms are a no-go zone. Wood hates water, and the constant moisture will warp and ruin it over time. A crying shame!

Cheap laminate. Some forms might be tempting due to cost, but they’re often ill-prepared to handle the humidity. When moisture seeps in, they swell up like a pufferfish.

Cork. Surprisingly, it’s not corking good here. While eco-friendly and soft underfoot, it soaks up water faster than a thirsty camel. You’ll end up regretting this choice in no time.

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